According to Chris Wharton, Co-owner and Director of the Better Body Group, there are three stages of ‘getting in shape’ before you can consider targeting certain areas for fat loss.
Create a calorie deficit: It is simply impossible to lose body fat without burning more calories than you consume. This is your number one fat loss strategy, and is best achieved by reducing your calorie intake.
Include compound exercises as part of your regular workouts: add squats, lunges, deadlifts, bench presses, and pull ups to make sure you are targeting all muscle groups.
Increase your levels of NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). Put simply, move around more throughout the day to increase the total number of calories burned.
He added: “Once you are certain these bases are covered, you can start focusing on more specific body parts. Since a slim, sculpted belly area tends to be the most desired, there are three great abdominal exercises to add into your gym repertoire.”
1. Myotatic crunch
Chris said: “This is one of my favourite and one of the most effective exercises for sculpting great abs.
- Lie flat on your back, on a Bosu ball or Swiss ball, positioning it under your lower back.
- Plant your feet in front of you with knees bent.
- Lower your shoulders toward the floor with arms above your head. You should feel a stretch through your abs.
- If you feel any pain in your lower back at this point, shuffle the Bosu further up your spine for less of a spinal extension.
- Now raise your shoulders towards your knees as if performing a crunch.
- At the top, contract your abs while exhaling and then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.
- Both the lifting and lowering should be very controlled, with a few seconds spent contracting at the top and a few seconds spent relaxing when your arms are stretched above your head.
Aim for at least 3 sets of 12-15 reps.
2. Suitcase carry
Chris said: “An often-ignored area of core training is the ability to hold and carry a weight on one side of your body. By off-setting the weight, you really challenge your obliques, the side trunk muscles, on the opposite side of the body as well the abs, lower back and deeper trunk musculature.”
- Begin by selecting a kettlebell or a dumbbell that is difficult to carry. Place the weight beside your legs with your feet hip width apart.
- Descend toward the weight by flexing at the knees and hips, your chest should remain proud with your back slightly arched.
- Inhale, then pick the…